South Sudan crisis is worsening: UN

United Nations, United States, March 3, 2016 (AFP) – South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis is catastrophic and continues to worsen as warring sides are “dragging their feet” in implementing a peace deal, the UN peacekeeping chief said Wednesday.

Herve Ladsous said “tens of thousands of people have died — we’ve lost count” and some two million have been driven from their homes in the war, now in its third year. While a peace deal was reached in August, “the parties are dragging their feet on its implementation”, Ladsous told reporters. Britain is pushing for an arms embargo to be imposed on South Sudan to halt the flow of weapons.

Russia opposes such a measure, arguing that it would be more easily enforced against the government than rebels. “We still don’t have a government of transition and the economic and humanitarian situation is catastrophic and continues to deteriorate, ” said Ladsous.

A senior UN official said the death toll from the fighting may have reached 50,000 or more. After winning independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan erupted into civil war in December 2013, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

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